Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2024 Preview

Arguably one of the women’s races with the most rich history on the calendar, Trofeo Alfredo Binda is named after the legendary Italian rider of the same name. It takes place in Cittiglio in the region of Lombardy in Northern Italy, this year on Sunday 17th March. This will be the 48th edition of the race, and it marks the 7th round of the Women’s World Tour in 2024.

A race that’s difficult to characterise in terms of which riders will excel, the past few years have seen wins from GC-style all-rounders, sprinters and classics riders, and with repeated ascents of short punchy climbs, the race usually sees plenty of attacking and provides a real spectacle for audiences.

The route is almost identical to that of the 2023 race, which saw Lidl-Trek’s Shirin van Anrooij pull clear of the bunch and triumph through a bold solo breakaway ride.

The Route – Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca – Cittiglio (140.5km)

Beginning in the town of Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca on the banks of Lake Maggiore, the first section of the day’s race runs alongside the lakeshore, before the route turns south and heads inland, with an early intermediate sprint to shake up the status quo. There’s little chance for an early breakaway to form before the first climb of the day, the Masciago Primo (5.1km at an average gradient of 4.6%) offers the opportunity for hopeful riders to escape.

From there, the route moves west, and a second intermediate sprint precedes the peloton’s first encounter with the Orino, tackled in a different direction for the first time, before the race passes the finish line in Cittiglio for the first time, taking in a third intermediate sprint, at which point the peloton begins the first passage of a circuit that they will complete five times. The circuit features a double ascent of two climbs, the short, punchy Casale (0.8km at 7%), and the lengthier grind of the Orino (2.6km at 5%).

It will be a wearing down process from here, with the punchy riders and climbers using the climbs to try and drop the sprinters, but with time in between each set of climbs for the race to come back together, it’s difficult to predict how successful this will prove. One thing is certain: it’s almost guaranteed that the bunch will have thinned out significantly by the time the race completes the final ascent of the Orino and from there, they will head downhill towards a stretch of 2.5km of relatively flat road leading to the finish line, where the winner of the 2024 Trofeo Alfredo Binda will be crowned in Cittiglio.

Riders to Watch

With a lumpy course and plenty of opportunities to attack, teams with a variety of rider types will have options regardless of which type of race unfolds, which partly explains Lidl-Trek’s dominance at the race – the team have won the past three editions, with three different riders, and will bring all three previous winners to this year’s race, an intimidating prospect for the rest. Elisa Balsamo won in 2022 and will be the team’s primary card in the eventuality of a sprint of any kind; Elisa Longo Borghini won the year before that from a reduced group of all-round riders. 2023 however saw a breakaway winner crowned – young off-road specialist Shirin van Anrooij will wear number 1 and defend her title in 2024.

As always, the primary threat will be Team SD Worx-ProTime, regardless of which riders appear on their roster for the race. They bring options, including Marlen Reusser who will hope to go for a long-range victory, as is her signature move.

A team not to be underestimated is AG Insurance-Soudal. Sarah Gigante rides her first race in Europe for the team, and her first since winning the Tour Down Under, and she will be eager to be in amongst it. Justine Ghekiere represents another strong attacking option for the team.

UAE Team ADQ bring punchy Italian rider Silvia Persico. This is exactly the kind of parcours that suits Persico and she will hope to be present at the final on home soil. Liv Alula Jayco bring all-round veteran Mavi Garcia and Urska Zigart – the latter could fare well if she’s able to get away from the faster women.

Riders to watch

5-stars Marlen Reusser

4-stars Elisa Balsamo

3-stars Shirin van Anrooij, Silvia Persico

2-stars Sarah Gigante

1-star Anna Shackley

Summary

When – Sunday 17 March 2024

Where – Italy

What – One-day race

TV Coverage: Discovery+, Eurosport

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